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Thailand Trump India 4-1 to top group C, both advance to the quarter-finals

Reigning champions India faced a crushing 4-1 defeat against giants Thailand to finish second in Group C of the Thomas Cup badminton tournament in Chengdu, China on Wednesday.

After winning the first two matches, both Indonesia and India advanced to the quarter-finals of the coveted event, but as the winner of Group C, Indonesia will advance to the elimination round as the topper.

The rematch of the 2022 Thomas Cup final offered Indonesia the chance to take revenge for their 0-3 defeat in the previous edition’s title clash against the same opponents, and that’s exactly what they did after a clinical display.

HS Prannoy, India’s number one in men’s singles, gave the team a 1-0 lead after staging a remarkable comeback to beat Anthony Ginting 13-21, 21-12, 21-12 in the opening match.

In the first men’s doubles match, the duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty fell to Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana, the same pair that dashed the Indian pair’s hopes at the last All England Championship. Satwiksairaj and Chirag lost 22-24 24-22 21-19 as Indonesia leveled the score at 1-1.

Lakshya Sen lost to reigning All England Championship winner Jonatan Christie, 18-21, 21-16, 17-21. The 22-year-old Sen raised hopes when his impressive net play claimed the second game, but he could not get past a determined Christie in the decider.

In the fourth match, India’s Dhruv Kapila and Sai Pratheek lost in consecutive matches 22-20 and 21-11 to Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin.

In the last match, which was a dead rubber, Kidmabi Srikanth lost to Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo. Srikanth won the opening game 21-19, but lost the second and third games 22-24 and 14-21 respectively.

(With PTI inputs)